Wales to Host First Major Golf Championship
2014 Senior Open comes to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club – July 24-27, 2014
New York, New York – September 13, 2011- The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex will be played in Wales for the first time in 2014 at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club and the Wales Senior Open will return to the European Senior Tour schedule in 2012 at Conwy Golf Club through a £5 million agreement between the Welsh Government, The European Tour and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R &A).
These announcements follow the successful staging of The 2010 Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort, City of Newport, where the 12th edition of The Celtic Manor Wales Open was played earlier this year so continuing the rich tradition of European Tour competition in Wales.
The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex, which was first played in 1987 and became part of the European Senior Tour schedule in 1992, is the biggest event on the Senior Tour calendar and received Major Championship designation in 2003. In July, American Russ Cochran won the title and a prize of US$2 million. A number of golf’s greatest players have etched their name on the trophy, including Gary Player (1988, 1990 and 1997) and Tom Watson (2003, 2005 and 2007) and Bernhard Langer (2010),
The Wales Senior Open first held at Royal St David’s Golf Club, Harlech, in 2001, has been won by such former European Tour winners as South Africa’s John Bland, Carl Mason of England and Spain’s José Rivero.
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, speaking at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, said: “I am delighted to announce that, for the first time, The Senior Open Championship is to be held here in Wales. Our reputation as a golfing nation goes from strength to strength. We have already proven that Wales can host top quality, international golf events. We have the facilities, the venues, the infrastructure and, most importantly, the welcome that all add up to us being a great host country.”
“We have worked tirelessly to capitalize on the profile which Wales has gained from golf. The value of golf tourism to the Welsh economy was £42m in 2010 and we will now use the Senior Open as another tool to promote Wales as a golf nation to the rest of the UK, Europe, the US and the wider world.”
Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “The R&A is delighted that the Senior Open Championship is to be staged in Wales and in particular at Royal Porthcawl. It is one of Britain’s finest links courses with a rich history of staging events at the highest level.”
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “The European Tour has a strong affinity with golf in Wales – Brian Huggett, Dai Rees and Ian Woosnam have all been Ryder Cup captains – and we are delighted that, on the field of competition, history is again in the making with the Senior Open Championship coming to Wales for the first time.”